Expression from the Other Side

Non-dominant hand wants to come out and play!

Simplicity and play are two facets of pure soulful expression that I like to share with others through many art forms and processes.  The seed for this art process was planted back in November when visiting a local vendor fair. I purchased several origami star bursts from a young boy who had his own vendor table (next to his mom’s!) using colorful post-its as his paper source. Yes to supporting a young budding artist!

Origami Star Bursts

The motion, colors and 16 rays kept the curiosity flowing and led me to the next step – painting these star bursts using a new tool I’ve wanted to explore for an upcoming art event. The tool is called a sponge stick and many artists use these for blending charcoal and pastels, they are also used for crafts. Let’s see what happens when we use watercolor paints! Once I started making marks on the paper a texture appeared that brought on a feeling of new birth, something wanting to come forth from the painterly marks. The space between the painterly marks became the space between each thought and breath, a graceful dance and meditation. Now on to sharing this process with others.

sponge sticks

star bursts

But wait! Let’s add another element, painting with our non-dominant hand! Yes to gifts from the universe, a recent fall and wrist fracture of my dominant hand – this art process has allowed me, and my left side, to express movement and change while staying in the present moment, exploring new patterns with different color pallets and simply being open to process. Creating in this way has always empowered me in service to working with others. This time around with love, compassion and purpose heightened to a new level of awareness. I am grateful for this.

We are all conduits of pure Source energy where creativity and natural forces of nature flow.  Bring on your expression from the other side.

With Sweet Grace.

 

 

Shaping Our World

Comes from Within

At one time it was thought the world was flat.

At one time, it was thought the world was flat.

worldround

It was eventually discovered the world is round.

What truly shapes our world? Leading from the heart.

What truly shapes our world? Leading from the heart.

A Kevin and Theresa graduation card collaboration for our daughter’s boyfriend graduating from the Air Force Academy. Hats off, high in the sky, to Jon Remiasz!

With Sweet Grace.

Mandala, Purple & Gold

Beauty in Motion with Many Moons

Purple & Gold Mandala

The newest in a series of mandalas where intention, play, construction, introspection and beauty come together. Each mandala begins with an intention, and then the play begins, creating a variety of artworks using different mediums and techniques. Each mandala’s intention acts as a guide through creating the shapes to use for all the artwork and arranging the shapes in patterns and design. After the mandala pieces are laid out the paper colors are chosen for the circle and backing and beads are added to flow with the whole. Every shape that gets glued down, along with every stitch and bead is gratitude in motion.

The intention for this mandala is our connection to water and many moons, as in storytelling – many moons ago….

Mandala assembly
Shapes are laid out and the paper color and beads are ready for the final step. Size: 20″x20″
bamboo is used for hanging
Bamboo is used for hanging. Cord or cup hooks can be used to support the bamboo.

Mandala Series
https://naturessweetgrace.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/seasons-change/

The magnificent mandalas in this series bring vibrance, peace and beauty to any environment. Contact Nature’s Sweet Grace to have a mandala created for your business or home.  Workshops or week-end retreats are also available.

With Sweet Grace.

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots

For YOU to CREATE

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots is an Expressive Arts tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety, connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness and for embracing our creative spirit.

Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots here.

Through my mandala classes I come across those who have never heard of a mandala and would like to know more about what a mandala is.

When providing an explanation I keep it simple at first, mandala means circle. As a spiritual art tool, what ever we create within the mandala acts as a reflection of our inner world in the present moment, and we bring these inner reflections into the physical world for us to see on paper, canvas, fabric, which ever medium we wish to work with. Working with mandalas over a period of time we begin to see patterns, colors and symbols that change to support our growth and life journey. Then I move on to the circle acting as a container for our wholeness, the vast universe that resides within each one of us, and how mandalas are found in all cultures around the world. In wellness settings where I facilitate classes, mandalas are used as a spiritual art tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety and connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness. In some classes we create mandalas for celebration and coming together in community. For those who would like to go deeper with their mandala practice, I suggest working with Judith Cornell’s Luminous Mandalas.

Through these mandala explanations and introductions I find myself asking, how can I keep the creation process simple for those new to mandalas and wanting to incorporate the mandala into their personal practice. This question brought forth the creation of PDF tutorials for everyone to download from Nature’s Sweet Grace tutorial page, Seed Meditations, Embracing MandalaArtfully Scrappin’ Mandala, and the newest PDF Mandala, Connect-the-Dots. Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots now to have for your personal practice or share with others through your work place.

The term connect-the-dots has been with me ever since I heard (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs’ Stanford University’s commencement speech. He talks about his life and how it was the journey from A to C to G, etc, that brought him to where he is in the present. And that journey is worth living.

With Sweet Grace.

Painting Our Cosmos

With Spectacular Swirling Patterns

What started out as Art Play is now a galactic exploration into the birth of stars, nebulas, flow lines, fractals, spiral motion, and The Great Attractor. From this exploration, Painting Our Cosmos came to be — a simple and fun way to create your own cloud of gas and dust within a galaxy of wonderment.

After a star is born….

over the next few million years, winds blow the surrounding gas into spectacular swirling patterns. It blows away the gas, it blows away the dust, and lets us see this beautiful new thing, this place where the star was born.
How Stars are Formed and Born

nebula (a massive cloud of gas and dust in outer space) is sometimes the birthplace of stars. The Orion Nebula where new stars — a youthful million years old — are still forming is a great example. Google nebula images and be wowed by the display of colors and swirling patterns.

Left: Rosette Nebula, Right: Orion Nebula

Rosetta-50


Painting Our Cosmos

What you’ll need to get started:

  • Two sheets of glass or plexiglass (use plexiglass when working with kids).       At least 3/8″ to 1/4″ thick for durability. The glass in the video is 19″ in diameter. The two sheets are repurposed for Art Play. The glass came from being used as table tops.
  • Acrylic paints or tempera paints, including several metallic paints.
  • Large sheets of paper or art board that cover the glass, black captures the cosmos and space.
  • Sink or tub with water for cleaning along with rags.
  • Your curious and playful nature!

The Process:

  • Squirt dabs of paint on the first sheet of glass, three to five colors.
  • Place the second sheet of glass on top and watch the colors mush together.
  • Swirl the top glass clockwise about 3/4 of the way around. The more you move the glass in the circular motion, the more the colors blend and sometimes over blend. It’s all about process. Experiment with different circular motions, 180 to 360 degrees or more, and see what resonates to your liking.
  • Separate the glass carefully, there will be suction from the paint. It is helpful to have the top glass be off center from the bottom glass so you have an edge to grab.
  • Make a print from each glass. Pat down lightly with your hands, yet firm enough to make a nice print. I find when using a roller the paint smears.
  • Use different colored paper. Have fun! Yes, it’s possible to make two prints from the same sheet of glass.
  • Name your creation.
  • Clean glass and start all over!

Before cleaning the glass take a look at the texture and colors. Both on the glass and paper you’ll see where the paint makes extraordinary branching patterns. Nature in action here! Both the spiral motion of rotating the glass, and the branching patterns from the paint are patterns found in nature (e.g., spiral-sunflower, pine cone, fingerprint; branching-rivers, tree branches, lightening) and in galaxies.

Cheers to the birth of new stars!

With Sweet Grace.

Seed to Blossom

An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence

A new eCourse that begins November 4

Sign up at Nature’s Sweet Grace.

Seed to Blossom eCourse

Seed to Blossom eCourse, An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence

Seed to Blossom is a six week self-paced course created to support and embrace your self-expression and inner explorations into knowing one’s self through the life of a flower. Using seed to blossom as a metaphor for growth, Divine purpose, and sacred intention, you’ll be guided through an inquisitive and creative process that takes you from your seed’s conception through to full bloom. It is a journey co-creating with Great Spirit your flower’s essence – an expression of your true essence. Your unique flower may come to life through a poem, song, quilt, painting or other expressive art form that resonates with your gifts, talents and adventurous spirit.

Throughout your Seed to Blossom journey, the exploratory process acts as an opening to:

  • Self-expression through the expressive arts
  • Awe, wonder and amazement
  • Awareness of your connection to the Whole
  • Gratitude and appreciation for the journey
  • Connection to nature, inner and outer
  • Playful and expressive storytelling
  • Meditative practice for focus and clarity
  • Curiosity, inspired intention and conscious co-creating
  • Imagination through the extraordinary and fantastical
  • Growth through authoring your journey
  • Purpose in the vast universe of possibilities
  • Creativity and your unique flower essence!

The self-paced format is ideal for working at your own pace, whenever you like, allowing for flexibility, creativity and flow. The course is presented in six Phases, with each Phase presented in a PDF format that can be downloaded from the Seed to Blossom course site anytime during the six weeks. Each Phase includes a video introduction explaining the growth sequence you’ll be working with, inquisitive journal prompts, inspiring resources and other exploratory tools. You will need a journal and materials that support the medium you’ll be working in. It’s OK if you do not know what that is now. I’ll cover this in the course introduction.

Throughout the course I connect with you individually and through the group collectively via email providing personal feedback and answers to questions. Therefore, this class enrollment is limited to a small group. Registration will be closed as soon as all the slots are filled. I welcome you to take part in Seed to Blossom, An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence. Enroll now to reserve your space!

November 4 – December 14, 2014

Sign up at Nature’s Sweet Grace.

More about the creation of this class
This class came together through my love of nature and personal journey over the past 15+ years getting to know myself. Flowers for me have been, and still are, a window to the extraordinary. I can recall the first time I looked at a flower with a knowing it was so much more than a flower. I became aware of its beauty, exquisite design and reflection of a world that connected me to something much larger. I asked myself, “Who created this beautiful flower?” That one question opened up the window to seeing the magnificence in all of creation. I have come across many flowers, each unique in their color, patterns and design. Some take on the appearance of animals, fire, food, and even faces. Did you know there are over 1 million flower species in the world, some yet unnamed. The number could be infinite! Which leads me to the creation of this class and using Seed to Blossom as a metaphor for connecting with our true essence. Though there are an infinite number of flowers in the world, there is only one you, with a unique purpose that is meant to be shared. 

It is my intention that Seed to Blossom be a window for those willing to go deeper with an adventurous and creative spirit into knowing one’s self through the life of a flower.

For inquiries about the class, contact me here.

With Sweet Grace.

Seasons change……

……and so do I.

Seasons change and so do ISeasons change and so do I
Seasons change and so do I

Nature’s beauty is getting ready to put on a spectacular display of color and light. The changing of seasons. The change from one season to the next also acts as an opportunity to observe, reflect and Be the gratitude.

As we enter Autumn look at the world around us –  what trees (and other plant life) are changing color, what seasonal foods become available, what is the local wildlife up to, what is the color of the sky? Observe all nature has to share with us.

As we enter Autumn look at the world within us –  what are we beginning to harvest from seeds planted earlier in the year, what is our pace, what makes us come alive? Reflect on all our inner nature has to share with us.

The Seasons change and so do I artwork represents the Midwest seasons. I chose to express them through creating a mandala. All the seasons flow from one to the next, coming together as a whole. No beginning, no end. And as in life and the universal forces, change is one thing we can count on.

To create your own Seasons change and so do I mandala, gather 140lb multi purpose paper, acrylic and watercolor paints, tacky glue, scissors, hand-made artisan paper, needle and thread, beads are optional. Decide on four to five different art processes. I used stamping, swirls, sponge brushing. For the cut out shapes create organic shaped templates. Trace, cut, assemble and glue! Instead of gluing the mandala circle on to the background paper, stitching the circle to the background complements the hand-made paper. You can also add a bead to each stitch.

Before laying down the cut out pieces begin with an intention for your mandala. Setting an intention grounds the co-creative process and embraces our intuitive nature.

expressive artscut out free-form pieces

Seasons Mandala

This seasonal themed mandala can also be used for life stages – birth through death, or what ever transitions you’d like to express.

Gratitude.

With Sweet Grace.